Ignored Obscured Restored
Stealers Wheel is best known for their 1973, Leiber and Stoller produced, one-hit-wonder – “Stuck in the Middle with You.” It was written by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan and appeared on their debut album. Rafferty went on to greater fame as a solo artist with the evergreen “Baker Street” among other hits.
The band’s next album Ferguslie Park (1973) contained another song that I always enjoy hearing called “Star.” It was penned by Egan and released as a single but only managed its way to #29 on the US singles chart.
Lyrically, “Star” addresses the subject of fame and how public adulation also has a downside – isolation.
So they made you a star, now your head’s in a cloud
And you’re walking down the street, with your feet off the ground
They read in the press all about your success
They believe every word they’ve been told
After all you’ve been through, tell me, what will you do
When you find yourself out in the cold?
The music blog No Words, No Song summarizes the music:
“Star”, for example, boasts the wonderful poignancy of Joe Egan’s lyrics, alongside a delightful melody. Gerry Rafferty’s voice complements Joe Egan’s perfectly. And the song features a number of unexpected elements for a record made in the midst of the glam rock era — including a mournful harmonica, a kazoo, some woodblocks and an upright piano sounding like something you used to find pushed against a back wall in those clubs which host promising acts on the way up and former superstars on the way down.
“Star” is another example of a great pop song buried on an album that almost no one has heard.
Enjoy… until next week.